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I Cannot Believe My Eyes

January 18, 2007

Our culture today is one in which “show” is placed in very high esteem.  Folks gravitate toward that which looks real, but is merely an extravagant production.  This obsession with entertainment seems to be far more intense than it was in the early eighties when I was in my teens.  While I had my share of vanity, I was also interested in current events, science, agriculture, (I grew up on a hog farm) normal teenage interests, and anything that was being pursued by black helocopters.  Perhaps it’s just the observations of a guy who’se 8 years away from qualifying for membership in AARP, but it seems that the level of vanity in our culture has reached a fever pitch unlike any other generation.   

“Your eyes can deceive you; don’t trust them.”  (Obiwan Kenobi, 1977)

This phrase came from the first Star Wars movie.  Although this entire series of motion pictures promotes occultism this particular statement is quite accurate.  The eyes can see the physical realm, such as trees, mountains, or in the case of my oldest daughter, a police car parked behind a billboard 5 miles down the road on a foggy night.   Yet the much larger, and far more influential spiritual realm goes unnoticed.  Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost; that being the souls of men.  Everything that he did was geared toward the spiritual.  While he indeed healed the sick and delivered folks from every manner of infirmity known, (and still does) the main focus was always on the condition of the heart. 

Jonh 5:14  “Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.” 

One side note about the above incident.  This man had an infirmity for 38 years and waited at the pool for the troubling of the water as the first one in afterward was healed.  Jesus told him to take up his bed, which he did, as he was healed that very moment.  Jesus and this man were separated for a time as events unfolded.  What really hit me recently was that when Jesus found him again, he had gone into the temple.  He acknowledged that this miracle was of God and he came to worship.  Truly we serve an awesome God who is worthy that we should worship him in spirit and in truth at all times.

One of the biggest deceptions that was transpiring during Jesus time on earth was done by the folks who looked religious.  They looked the part and liked to be noticed “looking the part” by their contemporaries.  They put on a show for the masses who would declare “Wow, that guy sure spends a lot of time on that street corner praying to God.”  They appeared to be spiritual as they praised God with their lips and did all of the things that a good pharisee was supposed to do; including evangelistism, as they would compass sea and land to make one proselyte.  Their conversation was heavenly, but their heart was earthly.  

Matthew 23;27-28  “Woe unto you scribes and pharisee, hypocrites!  for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead mens bones, and of all uncleanness.  Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within, ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.”

If there’s one thing that I gather from reading about the pharisees, it’s the importance of keeping out heart with all diligence, lest someone or something takes it away.  It can happen over a course of time; ever so subtily; just as the Ephesians in Revelation,  They be doing all of the right things, saying all of the right things, and were ever so diligent in their service to God.  They became so diligent that they left their first love and became wrapped up in the mechanics of the faith.  None of us can be too careful. 

This post has been on my heart for two days prior to placing it here.  One thing that’s of great conmcern for us all, is that we don’t fall prey to physical manipulation which will hamper discernment.  I remember a church that I used to attend.  One night, the worship time was really awesome as we really had a time in the Lord.  Eventually, the pastor shouted into the microphone, “aren’t you glad that you belong to this type of a church?  (He actually gave the denominational name, but I prefer to not go down that road with this)  The focus shifted from God to us within a split second.  Nobody seemed to even notice and I truly believe that the pastor wasn’t even aware of the shift, nor was it his intention.  Nonetheless, it happened. 

Two more examples.  One is the widow with the two mites.  If ever there was a clear cut example of “that which is seen not lining up with that which is” it would have to be here.

Luke 21:1-4  “And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury.  And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in hither two mites.  And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all:  For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.”

So many lessons in one happening.  The two mites that this widow woman cast in moved the heart of God.  Her heart was in tuned with the things of God and she desired to be a blessing to others.  Most would look at the treasures left by the rich men and declare “Wow!  With this money, we can do this good work or do that good work.  Yet these treasures combined didn’t add up to the two mites.  In todays world; especially in many churches, we’re too “currency” oriented.  The mechanics carry us away instead of the heart of one who really loves the Lord.  When you truly love God, you’ll love him regardless of your physical situation.  It was this same attitude that allowed Job to proclaim “though he slay me, yet will I trust him.” 

Finally, in the book of revelation we find Jesus giving encouragment and instruction  to the church in Smyrna.

Revelation 2:8-10  “And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write;  These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;  I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.  Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.”

Again; where to begin.  This church didn’t have a lot of material standing.  Yet the Lord told them that they were rich.  The true riches that one lays up in heaven will last forever.  This church may have appeared to be struggling a little, yet they had riches like none of the folks there could ever imagine.  Nor could they be stolen as they’re laid up in heaven.  Another note, Jesus stated that some of these saints would be tried by being sent to prison and killed.  Once again, he focused on the eternal ramifications in every discussion that he was a part of.  In this case, “if we lose our lives for his sake and the gospels, we’ll keep it unto life eternal.” 

The physical realm can give us a glimpse of the much greater picture; a glimpse that, in its best state, remains incomplete.  As you know, true understanding comes from God; through his word and through fellowshipping with him continuously.  I have to close this up as it’s gone longer than expected.   In these days of unparalleled deceptions, we must, more than ever, look past the physical situations before us and see the biggr picture.  It’s not easy, but through Jesus Christ, we can do all things. 

One final thought.  In talkng about the church in Smyrna, the subject of martyrdom was brushed up against.  I know that if we ever face such a circumstance, that God will impart to us the needed strength to endure such.  If you have time, read the writing of Corrie Ten Boom, listed in the blogroll.  This is something that was close to being a reality in her younger years and something that she saw others face in later years.  In both cases, Gods grace was very sufficient.  Such will be the case for each of us if the need arises. 

Love him wholeheartedly.

Follow him unconditionally.

Trust him completly

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5 comments

  1. Dear timbob.
    your words have impressed me the most from all I have read currently. Thank you for the wonderful article.
    Currently lots of people sense the fearful fall of moral values and rejoicing at the show, but just few succeed not to stumble at this point. And you are such winner. You didn’t waste you time on critics of our society and didn’t complain but go to the Bible and share God’s Word. You share not the quotes of the Scripture but the deep understanding of the spiritual light.
    I’m deeply convinced “I Cannot Believe My Eyes” will help many to look at their problems from a bit wonderful angle and God will show them the outcome then.
    Thank you.

    Dear timbob. I would greatly appreciate your comments on my blog. Please visit me.
    I would be happy if you could visit too and the therapy club ‘Modus Vivendi” blog. It talks about the people from Psychiatric Hospital. Your comments, the interest of other would be an event there and will make a day to the patients. I heartily thank you in advance in the name of all of them. The link is: http://trustlight.blogspot.com/

    Thank you


  2. Every day is full of trials and temptations that test our loyalty to the Living God. I wouldn’t have it any other way. It is an opportunity to have our faith strengthened. Materialism is just one more temptation.

    As the years go by, the path has become more narrow and difficult. Things that we once could do are no longer allowed. We fall away from the crowd, more and more. It is a lonely place but it’s purpose is to drive us to our knees so that we will seek the embrace of our Father.


  3. Hi timbob,

    Thanks for stopping by my site and leaving your comments. You’re welcome to pass by anytime.

    Don’t know if my viewpoint is correct or not. I’ve always thought that people are given as they ask themselves. I was watching tv the other night and was discontent at all the junk the world calls ‘variety in entertainment’. The Word clearly teaches, it all begins in the heart.

    Lets draw closer to Him.

    Love,
    DulceDiana


  4. Wonderful and timely post timbob!

    so much show, so little spirit and heart…
    so much deception and manipulation…

    But there are those who truly love Jesus, many hidden, some of whom will no longer be part of the show.

    May God help us to seek Him, to know Him, love Him, love others, and have discernment. To understand and grasp the reality of the spiritual realm, and understand the weapons of our warfare are not those of flesh and blood…

    Bless you, and thanks for another great post!

    Susan


  5. Thanks for the thoughts.

    Peace.

    Steve

    http://newpsalms.wordpress.com/



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